Bernard Tomic has kicked off his Claro Open title defence with a comprehensive second-round win over Adrian Menendez-Maceiras at the ATP Tour event in Bogota.
Second seed Tomic put aside his ongoing rift with Tennis Australia and his recent arrest in Miami to come back from a first-set tie-break loss and see off the Spaniard 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-4 on Thursday.
The precociously talented yet trouble-prone 22-year-old will now face Japan’s Tatsuma Ito in the quarter-finals.
Tomic is the only Australian left in the draw after Sam Groth exited earlier in the day via a straight-sets defeat to Radek Stepanek in the second round.
The big-serving Groth capitulated 6-4 6-0 to the Czech world No.369 in an indication the 27-year-old’s hectic travel schedule may have finally caught up with him.
Groth has bounced from Wimbledon to Darwin to produce his Davis Cup heroics and then straight to Colombia within a month.
Currently ranked 64 in the world, he starred alongside Lleyton Hewitt to lead Australia to a stirring come-from-behind 3-2 Davis Cup win over Kazakhstan last week.
In his first-round win over Argentina’s Guido Pella, the 193cm-right hander served 26 aces, including 11 in the decisive third set, to set up a last 16 meeting with wildcard Radek Stepanek.
Tomic’s win comes as he spurned an offer from TA to meet so he can air his grievances and potentially return to the Australian Davis Cup team in time for September’s semi-final.
TA president Steve Healy reached out to the controversial tennis star this week to “clear the air” over the funding issues he raised during his post-Wimbledon tirade that got him axed from the Davis Cup team.
But Tomic shot back on Thursday that a meeting would be pointless because he stands by the verbal pasting he gave Healy and other TA officials including Pat Rafter and CEO Craig Tiley following his Wimbledon exit.
A week ago in Miami, Tomic was arrested for allegedly refusing to turn down loud music while partying in his penthouse suite.